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Is a BPMS a friend or foe to the IT department?

Blog: LitheIT

We all know of the expression that Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas, so why should IT developers become the driving force for implementing a Business Process Management System?

BPMS vendors are keen to stress that their software provides zero code environments, intuitive and easy to use graphical workflow tools, and wizard based screen designs. So do businesses who implement a BPMS typically retire their IT developers? The answer is a resounding no!

Outside of business analysts, it will be unusual to find someone within business with the time or ability to create blank processes from scratch. They will not understand modular process creation; appreciate capacity, performance, or error handling implications of their designs. They don’t know about the pitfalls of poorly managed change control or configuration management. Only those with a solid grounding in IT can bring these skills to the party.

Business subject matter experts are able to view a graphical business process diagram and provide immediate feedback to analysts and developers. I believe that using a BPMS helps to solve one of the recurring IT complaints of poor quality requirements and badly defined change. Having the ability to modify the executable in discussion with the subject matter expert, by changing a diagram both can understand, will save the developer time, result in a better solution, and will allow the business user to test more effectively. It will also self-document and I’ve still to meet a developer who enjoys documentation!

There will always be room for Java and .Net development to enhance out of the box capability, but this will be limited to interesting coding scenarios and not basic screen or simple database connectivity.

An IT department seen to be advocating Process Improvement, and not just wanting to complete another system upgrade, will raise the profile within the organisation. Once operational, business specialists will be able to manage and modify their processes without always coming to IT, but only within an agreed control framework. They will thank and praise the IT team that delivers this capability to them.

If you want to find out more please visit, or contact Lithe IT and ask to speak to Anthony.

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